Archive for the ‘Life Reflections’ Category

Off Again

As some of you may remember from my December and January posts about Iowa, hubby works in politics. That means that this coming week, we’re off to Denver for the Democrat’s convention. We leave tomorrow and don’t get back to DC until Saturday, so my blogging is going to be spotty. I’m really excited because this is the first convention that I’ve ever gone to, and the first time I’ve ever seen Denver.

I’ll be back and blogging about new old-fashioned things after Labor Day. Have a great last week of summer.


Beautiful Iowa:


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I’ve decided to be adventurous in knitting this afternoon.  For the longest time, I’ve wanted to make myself some socks, but socks are supposedly one of the harder things to knit.  This is because of “turning the heel”, which is what your do to make socks that are L-shaped as opposed to tube socks that have no real heel.

By posting this, I am throwing the hat over the wall.  My very first sock is now ready to have its heel turned.  So I am now off to try to figure this out with a ton of books and websites as my guide.  Wish me luck!  Hopefully, I will get the knack of it quickly and return to tell you all of my victorious triumph.

Learning to turn a heel

Learning to turn a heel

For more knitting adventures:

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After all the thought I put into whether or not to continue to be a vegetarian, I had my mind made up for me by someone else. Specifically, the little baby growing inside me. About three weeks before I found out I was pregnant, I decided to try some meat just to see how I liked it. Having been a vegetarian since I was 10, I really didn’t remember what it tasted like.

My friend Lindsey was kind enough to share some lamb chops that she had from a lamb that her cousin raised for her. They were delicious, so I branched out and tried some other varieties of meat from the local farmers market. I even went so far as to render my own lard, which whipped up the best pie crust I have ever made.

All these experiments came to an abrupt end about a week after I found out that I was pregnant, when morning sickness started. I couldn’t even eat the fake variety of meat (except veggie corn dogs, which I have had an odd addiction to). I thought that I may start back up with my experiments after morning sickness passed, but it has been three weeks since it did, and meat still sounds very unappealing. Fortunately, I am also not eating the fake variety (aside from the aforementioned veggie corn dogs, which are completely unnatural whether using fake or real meat), which was my biggest reason for questioning continuing as a vegetarian.

The most ironic thing of all is that one of my cousins is also pregnant, and is only due four days before me. We were talking a couple weeks ago, and she mentioned that she had decided to try to be a vegetarian a little before she got pregnant, but for her, once the pregnancy symptoms hit, she found that she craved meat too much to continue.

I am guessing that our bodies get used to how we eat, and are trying to keep us from becoming too adventurous during pregnancy. This would make a lot of sense if we lived off the land, because it would probably be bad to start trying all sort of new berries or mushrooms during pregnancy. So I suppose that I am going to have about six more months, at least, of being a vegetarian.

My First Lamb Chops

My First Lamb Chops

For more on my thoughts on being a vegetarian:

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Exciting Changes

It seems that I’ve worried some people by being gone for so long.  I am sorry, and hopefully will be getting back to the blog on a fairly regular schedule now.  There is a good reason for my recent silence though, I’m pregnant and morning sickness hit hard enough that I didn’t have much extra energy for my projects.  Not to mention, the thought of food has not been appealing to me for months.  Fortunately, this stage is starting to pass.

Hubby and I are both quite thrilled and are looking forward to our very first little bundle of joy.

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I just finished “There Will Be Chicken Blood,” an article in Slate. It is about an urban farmer and her experiences with killing chickens. I found it made me a bit squeamish, and very aware of my life as an urban dweller. I really do have a hard time with the facts of life.

Whenever I watch animal shows, I never know who to root for. Is it better to cheer on the lion that is about to take down an antelope to feed her hungry babies, or should I fervently pray that the antelope escapes by some miracle leaving those beautiful lion cubs without dinner?

It is truly a hard question for me to answer. Hubby laughs at my horrified, eye-covering reaction to life. I tend to agree with him, I am being silly. It is a part of life, and there is very little we can do to change that. There is no way that we are ever going to train those adorable baby lions to be vegetarian. So why is it that it makes me so squeamish?


For more on my urban vs. nature thoughts:

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Ever since reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, I have been even more dedicated to eating as natural as possible. This is especially easy now that the farmers markets are back in full swing. The weakest link to eating completely like my great-grandmothers would have is flour. I make my own bread, but I do use white flour in it. Now many people may be shocked by this, but white flour is very different from what it was a hundred years ago, and is not nearly are natural.

White flour nowadays is treated with all sorts of chemicals to separate out every last bit of the germ and bran. Where as flour that is stone ground the old-fashioned way keeps intact the nutrients and also don’t strip as much of the bran. All this is well and good, but it is nearly impossible to find stone ground white flour. Even whole wheat is rarely stone ground and therefore has many of its nutrients lost due to heat.

I have finally found a source for great, old-fashioned flour. Wade’s Mill is an old mill that is still working in Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains. This coming weekend, hubby and I will be taking a trip down to see it and stay at a nearby b&b. My birthday happens to fall over this long weekend, and I am thankful that we are going to get to celebrate it by enjoying the mountains and little towns along the way.

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I just read a great article in the New York Times about the last remaining washboard company in the US. In War Time, an Old Reliable Is Called to Serve, describes how the Columbus Washboard Company has found new life in meeting the needs of our servicemen and women that are deployed to places where the military’s washing service is not very reliable. The company had been struggling to survive, but the wars have highlighted a place where washboards are still useful.

This company seems very interesting and dedicated to the washboard. They even go so far as to have an annual musical washboard festival in June every year. I’m glad that there are still companies like this in our country. Even if they aren’t that profitable, they certainly have gumption.

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